CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Morgantown industrialist John Raese said Thursday he will run for U.S. Senate because he has "unfinished business" with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
The two men faced off in a bitter 2010 special election to fill the seat left vacant when Robert Byrd died. Manchin won by 10 percent.
"I call it unfinished business," Raese said.
Democrats and Republicans quickly returned to the same talking points West Virginians heard the last time around.
Raese said President Barack Obama's presidency has been a "disaster."
"We have a senator that seems to support that disaster, he has voted with Obama over 85 percent of the time," Raese said. "I think it's a bad experiment for West Virginia. Certainly the last time he was through I called him a 'rubber stamp' and he didn't let me down."
Raese was referring to the number of votes on which Manchin has sided with other Democrats in the Senate.
The state Democrats noted it was Raese's fourth try at U.S. Senate and hit on the home Raese keeps in Florida.
Raese apparently came to Charleston from Florida. His company-owned plane left Palm Beach, Fla., and landed at Charleston's Yeager Airport shortly before he filed, according to a website that tracks air traffic.
"Florida resident John Raese has now made it official - he's on his fourth attempt to lose a U.S. Senate seat," state Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio said.
Puccio was referring to the home Raese owns in Florida where his wife and two daughters live part of the year.
Raese said he decided to enter the race when the West Virginia University band played "Take Me Home, Country Roads" at the Jan. 4 Orange Bowl.
West Virginia voters may feel some deja vu this year. Republican Bill Maloney is expected to again challenge Democrat Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a repeat of the 2011 special gubernatorial election.
Republicans attacked Manchin and Tomblin for supporting President Barack Obama, who is deeply unpopular in West Virginia, according to publicly available polling. Democrats attacked Maloney and Raese for being out-of-touch businessmen. It's not clear how having both pairs of men on the ticket could affect their collective political fortunes, but both sides can be expected to create attacks that lump together their opposition.
In 2010, some publicly available polling suggested Raese was on course for upsetting Manchin - that is, until Manchin beat Raese decisively, taking 53 percent of the vote.
Raese and Manchin both still need to win their party's primaries this May. No Democrat has stepped forward to challenge Manchin. Raese is the only Republican to file so far.
Manchin, a conservative Democrat in a Democratic state, has captured a middle road that his foes have found hard to get around. Candidates to his left would have trouble finding conservative Democrats to vote for them; candidates to his right may scare off the state's Democratic voters.